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Fred was an ordinary Navy enlisted man who helped this kid learn about electronics and about ham radio. He was your typical "sailor" and talked raunchy when they thought I wasn't in earshot. But he encouraged me, and teased me about the possibilities (our first meeting, he took his Swan 350 and talked to a guy in Japan - right in front of me!).
For my novice CW test, I thought he was checking my progress. He tuned in a slow station and had me copy it. I did OK, I guess. He told me that I just passed my Novice code test. Woohoo! Then he ordered the written test materials, and when they came in, I passed those pretty handily, but I was pretty nervous. I was in 8th grade, for god's sake, and I was dealing with the Federal Government.
That was in the late 1960's, and a lot of things have changed since then, but because of him I always make sure that if I can help a newcomer get interested in ham radio, I will do so! Thanks, Fred.
Contributed by: Dave Bushong (KZ1O)
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